The Flaming Signal.
Yeah it's a flaming turkey with bad dialog (much of it ad libbed), awful acting, primitive screenplay and screwy editing. BUT it also has a wonder dog, a pre-code skinny-dipping blonde - and wait until you see what raises witchdoctor Mischa Auer from the dead! This one ranks high on the must be seen to be believed list.
Run time 59 minutes 5 secondsProducer William BerkeProduction Company Imperial ProductionsAudio/Visual sound, B&W
Directed by George Jeske and C Edwards Roberts
Released in 1933
March 13, 2014
More wonder dogs please
Precode features are important for a lot of reasons. My library has added such titles as "Safe In Hell", "Ten Cents A Dance" (with a very early and still pretty Barbara Stanwyck) and others. Also out there-- and with the British seal of approval on the titles -- is Elysia, Valley of the nude featuring the exquisite "Miss Kent."
The Kefauver hearings featured in the film "Notorious Bettie Page" and other civil trials made a distinction at one time between nudity and prurient interest. Look at your films being released today. Where did that notion become lost?
Thanks for the up.
March 11, 2014
The Dog Has A Parachute (and a 3 Picture Deal)
Let's focus on William Berke. He spent the 1920's as a writer and actor in silents and in 1933 made the jump to producer for various Poverty Row companies. He had 82 credits as a Producer, almost as many as a director, primarily of "B" westerns and many credits in early television as well. A workaholic, he had a massive coronary on his last picture's first day of shooting in 1958. He is probably the least known of those early producer/directors in the early sound era and beyond. He didn't always deliver quality, but quantity is another story.
Flash the dog was topped billed in this and he isn't even in the same league as Rin-Tin-Tin, but he gets a workout. The top stars were in films for a very short time. Old standbys Noah Beery and Henry B. Walthall had thankless parts in this mish-mash, which becomes completely incoherent at times. Beery is always watchable but he overacts and chews the scenery here. Walthall wasted in a meek role. Mischa Auer as Ma-Nu is just manure here. He had better parts in his future.
This is a forgotten film, I hesitate to call it a "gem", but as a buff, it's worth a look. Sound and picture O.K.